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Ignite the Journey: Boldly Shine

Boldly Shine, the last in our "Ignite the Journey" blog series, is brought to you by author and ministry leader Rae Lynn DeAngelis. Rae Lynn's journey is sure to encourage and inspire you, friends. Enjoy!


My ears perked up when I overheard my mom saying, “The girl barely eats, and when she does eat, she makes herself throw up!”

 

As far back as I can remember, I had poor body-image. I was convinced true love and acceptance hinged on my achievement of a certain standard of excellence with outward appearance. I started dieting very young, trying to achieve the optimal size and shape. When I heard those words, the spark was ignited. I immediately thought to myself… Wow, you can do that… you can eat and then get rid of it?

 

 “The tongue is a small part of the body… Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark” (James 3:5).

 

This marked the beginning of my downward spiral with an eating disorder. Weeks turned into months and months turned into years. Before I knew it, twenty-five years clicked by. Never could I have imagined that my eating disorder would hold me captive so long. I was in bondage to the number on the scale. If my weight was down, it was a good day. If my weight was up, it was a horrible day. I just wanted to be loved no matter what the scale said.

 

I tried to break free many times, but my resolve never lasted long. I will stop tomorrow, I promised myself. But tomorrow without bulimia never came. Deep down, I knew that what I was doing was wrong, but my fear of gaining weight was too great. I was trapped like a prisoner in my own body.

 

Thankfully, that’s not the end of my story! Fast-forward to my mid-30s; I was growing a lot as a Christian woman and began reading my Bible every day. I was amazed at how relevant the bible was to my everyday life, even though it was written thousands of years ago. I was ravenous to learn and joined multiple Bible studies at the same time.  

 

One Sunday my husband and I were in a class studying the book of John. We came to John 5:5-6 and the words leaped off the page! “One who was there had been an invalid for 38 years, and when Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in that condition for a long time He asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?”


person rescued from water

It felt like Jesus was asking me this very same question. RaeLynn, do you want to get well?

 

I eventually decided that I really did want to be free. And halleluiah, God led me every step of the way! The first step to breaking free was exposing my 25-year secret to a trusted sister-in-Christ. Instead of rebuke or disgust, my friend spoke words of hope. She said, “Rae Lynn, I believe God is going to set you free from this, and that when He does, He’s going to bring something good from it.”

 

I couldn’t imagine how God could bring something good from my eating disorder, but the mere glimmer of hope my friend gave me on that day became the driving force in my recovery.

 

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed through the renewing of your mind.” God showed me that I had believed many lies about myself. It was time to renew my mind with His truth. I began writing out relevant scriptures on index cards and would read through them every day. Jesus said, “…If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

 

It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. But God did eventually set me completely free. And praise God, I have been free for 21 years and counting!

 

After God set me free, He provided opportunities for me to share my story with others. One opportunity led to another until eventually, God called me more formally to help others. In 2008, Living in Truth Ministries was born. Today we are a non-profit organization, reaching tens of thousands of women all over the world, helping them break the chains of food and body-image through the truth of God’s Word.

 

As I look back over my life, I see a common theme—WORDS. Words sparked my eating disorder. Words sparked my recovery. And words sparked my journey to help others. Friends, God’s specialty is redemption! He takes the ugly and tragic circumstances of our lives and brings beauty from the ashes.

 

FOR FURTHER THOUGHT (by Barb Lownsbury)

“The footprints we leave behind show clearly where we have been, but they do not dictate where we can now go.”  ~Ralph Martson

 

Are there any lies you are believing right now?  Is the enemy whispering in your ear, telling you that you are unworthy, unloved, unneeded or not enough?  Remember – your past doesn’t get to dictate your future.  And your future is full of hope and joy when you invite your Creator into your journey forward!

 

One of God’s greatest promises is to put purpose to our pain, to use it for good when we surrender to him (Romans 8:27-29). That includes your grief, your fears, and your dysfunctional spaces.  Your life isn’t somehow the exception.  God’s love for you is an everlasting love! (Jeremiah 31:3

 

While it may not always be a straight-forward journey, it’s a worthwhile one.  Why?  Because YOU are worthwhile!  God’s purpose for you is healing and blessing.  Nothing more, nothing less. 

 

This week, spend some time reading over the right words with these encouraging scriptures, reminding yourself of what’s true about who you are and how you’re loved.  Take the one that really speaks to you and post it somewhere conspicuous as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to you. 

 

If you’re in a season of blessing, make space to count those blessing!  There is real power in acknowledging and praising God with positive words for all the good in your life (Psalm 42:5, Psalm 150:1-6), .  Then, should your path take a detour, you can strengthen your faith muscle by remembering God's faithfulness to you.  It becomes a living reminder of how your Creator will be faithful once again!

 

PRAYER

Lord, you know when I sit and when I rise. You perceive my thoughts from afar. You know the number of hairs I have on my head. Your love for me is an overwhelmingly beautiful thing. Help me to trust in the words you speak to me. May I see myself the way you see—worthy of your love simply because I’m yours! May I grow in my ability to understand that rich and mighty love. I invite you into the center


ABOUT RAE LYNN DEANGLIS

Rae Lynn DeAngelis

In addition to being an author & speaker, Rae Lynn DeAngelis is the founder and executive director of Living in Truth Ministries, a non-profit organization that has been helping women break the chains of food and body-image for 15-years. The ministry was born from her own brokenness after God set her free from a 25-year battle with bulimia through the truth of His Word. Her greatest passion is to encourage women through the promises of God, empowering them to live in truth and freedom. 


To learn more, visit her website at


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